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Cumbria nuclear plant could be scrapped within days

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Plans to build a nuclear plant in Cumbria to supply 7% of the UKs energy could be abandoned before the end of the week.   

It is reported that Toshiba’s board is set to meet in Tokyo on Thursday to determine if they will continue attempts to sell the NuGen Moorside project or wrap it up.  

Japanese developer Toshiba is desperately trying to sell the project, after their nuclear division Westinghouse, who formed part of the NuGen joint venture tasked with the project, collapsed in March 2017. 

A preferred buyer was found in South Korea’s state-owned Korean Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), but Toshiba has yet to make a breakthrough.  

Talks with Kepco stalled at an advanced stage after the UK government announced it was considering how funding for new nuclear power plants should be structured.  

“Two people with direct knowledge” have told Reuters that “Toshiba is eager to shut off potential risks associated with NuGen soon.” 

Toshiba has also reportedly opened up talks with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management to broker a deal for its Cumbrian nuclear plant NuGen.

A Toshiba spokesperson said that all options were being considered, but could not confirm if Toshiba is considering scrapping NuGen if a buyer is not found.

“Toshiba continues to consider additional options including sale of its shares in NuGen to Kepco, and we are carefully monitoring the situation, in consultation with stakeholders including the UK government. We cannot comment on details,” the spokesperson said.  

Following the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, in September over two thirds of the workforce were let go in September.  

A spokesman for NuGen said at the time: “NuGen staff were informed that owing to the protracted period of time it has taken to secure a way forward for the Moorside project, there would be a phased reduction in the headcount within the NuGen organisation. 

“This consultation served to identify the posts that will be required to finalise and complete a transaction for the sale of NuGen and as a result, the team of over 100 will reduce to fewer than 40. 

“NuGen’s retained core team will be focused on securing a sale of the NuGen business and supporting Toshiba’s activities.” 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I really hope this does get cancelled. Great for the UK if it does.
    Just need the Wylfa plant to be shut down next. Just hoping Hinkley Point goes into receivership soon too.

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